Saturday, March 22, 2003

Today was a very ordinary Shabbat. Youngest went to a friend. Bish and Eldest went to the shopping center at Kibbutz Shfayim to buy poufs for the girls (that’s those big bean bag things). The girls have been dying for them for ages. I thought Shfayim, a popular shopping place for Shabbat because most places of commerce are closed, wouldn’t be as packed as usual. We usually don’t go near there on a Shabbat, but Bish says it was just as packed with shoppers as every Shabbat.

I’ve been checking up on Salam about once an hour but there’s nothing new. I see they’ve put those oil trenches around Baghdad on fire. You’ll remember we heard about them from Salam first. This probably means that the whole of Baghdad is under a horrible black suffocating cloud.

Here a Home Front Command top officer has been anonymously complaining to the Press that the decision to tell the public here to open the masks was an expensive mistake. I don’t know why these people can’t keep their mouths shut. A Home Command Front officer, high up as he may be, probably isn’t in possession of all the information with regard to intelligence and contact with the US and even if he is, it’s not his decision. His job is to follow the orders of his superiors and not to run to the journalists when things aren’t going as he likes. If I know these things, the Home Front can’t be bothered with the extra work and the headache they’re going to have “refreshing” the gas mask kits after this is over. Well that’s just too bad.

Anyway, tomorrow the bigwigs are going to reassess the situation and decide whether to bring down the level of alert. Picking up Youngest I saw just one person with a gas mask, although there were quite a lot of people out on their evening stroll. Besides us, that is. I’m what is known as a “Yekkit”. Yekke’s were what the German immigrants in the 1930’s were called, but it has become synonymous to doing things in an orderly fashion, strictly by the book. Well, the orderly thing is debatable, but by the book – definitely. Tonight this family will be just as ready for a missile attack as we were on the first night, even though Richard Perle just told Israeli TV channel 2 that coalition forces are in control of Western Iraq and that missiles on Israel are now very unlikely.

Update: IDF spokesperson called on Israeli citizens to continue to carry the gas mask kits. Israel TV channel 10 news.

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